Two months ago, after a cranky day, I went for a walk in my neighborhood and ended up at Unnamable Books on Vanderbilt. In some ways, opening a book store is more optimistic than writing a book. Anyway, I bought Beginner’s Greek, which had been recommended by The Times and after reading two pages, seemed like it would eventually be highly recommended by me. It was one of those gorgeous pre-fall days were the sun and the clouds are really working together, so I went to the park and started reading. After ten more pages, I knew how everything would happen. I was kind of annoyed, especially when I saw the discussion questions in the back. I love reading, but I hate when publishers encourage me to get drunk with friends and talk about obvious symbolism. And that day, I hit my breaking point with commercial literary fiction.
All of this was going to be related to the fact that I’ve been reading a lot of Flannery O’Conner lately. But I already blogged about that. The above paragraph came from Word document I keep called “maybe blog post.” What happens in this word document is that I write a paragraph, get frustrated with myself for wasting time rearranging each word instead of working on my book, and then I quit.
My life has been filled with frustrations lately. Fortunately, not frustrations involving clean water, but frustrations with my book. I’ve been doing it for almost two years now. And while working without feedback (or a boss) has mostly been fantastic, I’m at the end of my rope. See I don’t even have anyone to call me out for using a phrase like “end of my rope.” It’s hard.
I’m just exhausted with Raronauer’ed, The Novel. I’ve come to the point where I am incapable of considering the value of passive voice without a professional’s help. So for better or worse, what I’m working on now will be my last draft before looking for an agent.
I’m sure Junot Diaz is aware that he doesn’t use footnotes evenly in Brief, Wondrous Life. And Jeffrey Eugenides must know that the end of Middlesex is anti-climactic. And both of these guys spent like a decade on each of those books. But there’s only so much you can do before you start wandering around the city in the middle of the afternoon, looking for clothes a redhead would wear so you can go as a ginger for Halloween.